Winter Fruit And Nut Stuffing
- 12 tablespoons butter - (1 1/2 sticks)
- 2 large Anjou pears peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 cups chopped onions
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1 1/2 cups Sauternes (or other sweet white wine)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted prunes
- 1 1/2 cups chopped dried apricots
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 14 cups cubed (1/2") crustless firm white bread - (abt 1 1/2 lbs)
- 1 cup pecans toasted, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears; sprinkle with sugar. Sauté until pears are golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to very large bowl; mix in cinnamon. Melt remaining 10 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add onions and celery; sauté until golden, about 15 minutes. Add wine and next 5 ingredients. Simmer until liquid is reduced almost to glaze and mixture is soft and moist, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Mix into pears. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Reheat to lukewarm before continuing.)
Mix bread and pecans into fruit mixture. Season stuffing with salt and pepper.
To bake stuffing in turkey: Loosely fill main cavity and neck cavity of turkey with stuffing. Generously butter baking dish. Spoon remaining stuffing into prepared dish. Cover dish with buttered foil, buttered-side down. Bake stuffing in dish -- alongside turkey or while turkey is resting -- until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover stuffing in dish. Bake until top of stuffing is slightly crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.
To bake stuffing in dish: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass baking dish. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish. Bake uncovered until heated through, about 35 minutes.
This recipe yields 12 servings.